ArmInfo. 2019 was marked by an unprecedentedly active struggle of local residents against mining companies.
As Inga Zarafyan, head of the EcoLur NGO, said at a press conference on December 20, in the outgoing year a number of communities in different regions of the republic strongly opposed several projects for the development of mining deposits. This, in particular, concerns the Vazashen community in Tavush, Tsovinar - in Gegharkunik, Gladzor - in Vayots Dzor, which said their categorical "no" to the projects for the development of gold ore polymetallic deposits.
According to the expert, the activity of local residents in upholding their rights to a clean environment is understandable: in recent years, when implementing a number of mining projects, companies have failed to fulfill promises made to the population. This, in particular, concerns promises of employment at the mine, payment of decent compensation for land, and so on.
At the same time, as Zarafyan emphasized, the credibility of the competent authorities is also undermined, because, for example, inspections that go on a signal can only record violations within their powers. Thus, the burden of judicial red tape and the further struggle against unscrupulous business entities lies entirely on the shoulders of the affected citizens. As an example, the ecologist cited the situation in communities affected by mining waste from the Akhtalin deposit, where local residents were left almost alone with the problem of pollution of their lands. A similar situation of the struggle of the local population with economic entities has developed not only in the mining industry. As Zarafyan noted, it is not the first year that a violation of the norms established by law has been observed in the construction of small hydropower plants. From year to year, environmentalists point out problems with maintaining ecological flow and the negative impact of small hydropower plants on ecosystems. First of all, the local population suffers from this, since hydroelectric power plants practically deprive them of irrigation water. , Zarafyan emphasized.